"I don't see us supporting a deal that has chained CPI in it," said Bill Samuel, director of government affairs at the AFL-CIO, a close ally in Obama's reelection campaign. "It's a basic cut in benefits for seniors." [...]President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have been sending clear messages that they'd be open to chained CPI as part of a larger deficit deal. Obama followed up those messages by telling progressive members of Congress that he would only agree to Social Security benefit cuts in the context of a deal in which Republicans accepted new revenue, and that since Republicans aren't budging on revenue there's no danger right now. But there's no question that chained CPI is on the table, which means that now is the time to make it clear how unacceptable it is, rather than waiting until it's too late.
"Chained CPI is the biggest dollar cut that anyone in Washington has put on the table in this discussion in a serious way," said Damon Silvers, the AFL-CIO's policy director. "It is clearly the one that would do the most broad-based harm to American families. It is structured in a particularly devious and pernicious way.
"It is not the sort of proposal that any Democrat who [supports] working people wants to be associated with," he added.
The AFL-CIO would not support a bargain, grand or otherwise, that included the cut to Social Security benefits known as chained CPI, two senior staffers told Huffington Post's Dave Jamieson.